From CBS Sports –
“THE NFL ON CBS” CONTINUES AFC PLAYOFF COVERAGE WITH
DIVISIONAL PLAYOFF GAMES – DENVER vs. NEW ENGLAND ON
SATURDAY, JAN. 14; AND HOUSTON vs. BALTIMORE ON SUNDAY, JAN. 15
AUDIBLES WITH “NFL ON CBS” LEAD ANALYST PHIL SIMMS AND DAN DIERDORF
THE NFL ON CBS, continues its 52nd year broadcasting the NFL with coverage of the 2012 American Football Conference Playoffs with the national broadcasts of AFC Divisional Playoff games on Saturday, Jan. 14 (8:00 PM, ET) and Sunday, Jan. 15 (1:00 PM, ET) live on the CBS Television Network. The AFC West Champions and No. 4-seeded DENVER BRONCOS (9-8) travel to play the AFC East Champions and No. 1-seeded NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (13-3) on Saturday night, while the AFC South Champions and No. 3-seeded HOUSTON TEXANS (11-6) visit the AFC North Champions and No. 2-seeded BALTIMORE RAVENS (12-4) on Sunday afternoon.
THE NFL ON CBS’s coverage begins with THE NFL TODAY, the Network’s studio show (7:30 PM, ET) and (12:00 Noon, ET), respectively, live from the CBS Broadcast Center in New York City.
THE NFL ON CBS lead announce team of Jim Nantz and Phil Simms call the action live from Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass. on Saturday night. Lance Barrow is the coordinating producer and lead game producer and Mike Arnold is the lead game director. Greg Gumbel and Dan Dierdorf call the action live from M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Md. on Sunday. Mark Wolff is the producer and Bob Fishman is the director.
Sean McManus is Chairman, CBS Sports, and serves as executive producer of CBS Sports’ coverage of THE NFL ON CBS. Harold Bryant is Executive Producer and Vice President, Production, CBS Sports.
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(On Denver-New England): Rematches that happen in the NFL always intrigue me, especially when talking about good football teams that played each other not long ago. I saw a lot of plays the Denver Broncos run every single week, but they gave them a little twist this past weekend against the Steelers. When you see it in a game, you know that the other team is prepared for the original play. When you give it that twist, you see what it does. Can the other team adjust or does it turn into something big?
There were probably three plays in the Broncos-Steelers game that turned out to be big. So the Broncos’ preparation, new thinking, and a new twist to an old play were the difference in the game. We are going to see new twists with two staffs that come up with a lot of different ideas on both sides of the ball. I am spending most of my week watching their last game so that when it does happen, I will know why they did a certain thing. That intrigues me more than anything.
The Broncos and Patriots defenses could play much better than we think, because they will be able to stop the bread-and-butter plays from the other team’s offense. There is something to the one less day for the Denver Broncos, traveling, and the Patriots get the extra time and preparation and rest. Also, the Patriots have lost their last two playoff home games. I am not going to under-sell that fact at all. How much do you think that has been talked about in New England between the organization, players and staff? To me, those are big things. Their emotional level has to be incredibly high because of the previous two years, and the fact that all anybody talks about is their bad defense. They don’t even talk about Tom Brady. Then you have the Broncos and Tim Tebow, and we have some storm brewing.
(On Baltimore): The last several times that Baltimore has been in the playoffs they’ve been eliminated by either Pittsburgh or Indianapolis. They are gone. Baltimore has a confidence that with who remains really sets up well for them. They are the team that can win this game and go into New England and beat the Patriots, if that is what has to be done.
(On Houston): Congratulations to the Texans for making the playoffs for the first time ever and winning a playoff game, but they are in for a rude awakening. It is one thing to beat Cincinnati at home, and quite another to go to Baltimore and play a rested, extremely balanced football team.
(On playing in Baltimore): M&T Stadium in Baltimore is becoming like Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City – an unbelievably loud outdoor stadium. Arrowhead was the only outdoor stadium that I thought could really rival a dome in terms of the sheer ferocity of the crowd with the noise almost becoming a physical thing. But M&T is really joining Arrowhead in that regard.
(On Houston-Baltimore): The quarterbacks are always the starting point in a playoff game like this. Joe Flacco has more playoff starts than T.J. Yates has total starts. That is a big deal and is a huge, huge advantage for Baltimore. T.J. Yates has been impressive. He’s done well. But this is going to be unlike anything he’s ever seen before. He didn’t experience anything at North Carolina that is quite going to prepare him for what he’s about to see Sunday afternoon in Baltimore. Houston has a puncher’s chance because of their ability to run the football and play defense. But running the ball against Cincinnati is different than running the ball against Baltimore in Baltimore. If they’re able to run the ball against Baltimore, they will have a chance.
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AFC DIVISIONAL PLAYOFF GAME #1 – Saturday, Jan. 14
8:00 PM, ET starts:
Denver @ New England Jim Nantz/Phil Simms
AFC DIVISIONAL PLAYOFF GAME #2 – Sunday, Jan. 15
1:00 PM, ET start:
Houston @ Baltimore Greg Gumbel/Dan Dierdorf
AFC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME – Sunday, Jan. 22
3:00 PM, ET start:
TBD Jim Nantz/Phil Simms